Crafty in the Med

I am here to enjoy meeting other bloggers and to share my love of craft ,mostly crochet, my thoughts and my daily happenings here in Alicante,Spain, my adopted country. I belong to a local choir because singing and music makes me happy. Flea markets and book shops are two of my favourite places to be. I read lots......sci´fi/fantasy,buried treasure, and off world adventures. I have a passion for history! I walk and walk and walk for about 10 months per year during the hot months I swim.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Secret Garden Part II

Warning a tad photo heavy๐Ÿ“ท

 Back in October 2020  

            ๐Ÿƒ during my walk on that particular  day I took a couple of photos of the gardens at the  Engineer's House Park (Parque La Casa del Ingeniero) that had been hidden for so long but is now open to the public.  I promised I would return to take more.

This time I have mostly taken photos of the new traffic park or sometimes called traffic garden situated within this park. This is where children learn about road safety and traffic rules. I don't recall there being children's traffic parks in the UK when I went to school.

 I wonder if there are any now?  Do you have them where you live?



Traffic police reception and warehouse

 
Mini network of roads with traffic lights



 

 

 

 

 

 


 The following are a few more photos I took of the main part of the park:


This is the old Engineer's house which they have refurbished and it has become a social centre where lots of different types of courses are given (in normal times of course).

 





The Returnees :

Wonderful to see bloggers who have been away from blogging return to us here in blogland. Having been away from my blog for 10 months in 2020 I do know just how life can get in our way and some things have to be set to one side for awhile. Great to have you back!

Welcome back to Jacquie on Bunny Mummy, Mouse on View from the Teapot, Penny on Violet White, Chrissie on Chrissie's blog.

  

Alexia Pros and Cons:

 Having fully explained in detail to Sr P and shared with him the comments given on my last post we have decided we are not going to get an Alexa at present. We are going to give it some more thought.Many thanks fall of you for all your comments which I have replied to on my last post.

 

 

Baby Blanket completed:

A few nicer snapshots of my great nephew's blanket. As baby won't be arriving until April and the post office still has a heavy backlog of Christmas post I won't be sending it to the UK until the end of the month. Therefore, as I have some of the yarn to spare I may just have time to crochet a little hat as well. A nice quick make!

 


 I used Katia Planet Aran yarn in white,peal grey and green agua and a 5,00 hook. Easy to crochet with,soft and warm. I didn't use a pattern for the body of the blanket or the border. The bows are from The Perfect knot crochet.





 

Stay safe and keep well


Amanda :-)


PS: Thanks to the inconsideration of one of my grand-daughter's class mates at college she and the rest of her class have had to be tested for Covid19 this morning. 

Please let it be negative ๐Ÿ’—

 

 

 








Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Where's the blue?

Last weekend

The  blue skies disappeared and for a change it was snowing practically everywhere in Spain except here in Alicante City. Plenty of rain though here, three days of it and counting, most unusual but no complaints as Alicante needs the rain.

Throughout the rest of the country Storm Filomena has been very harsh indeed especially in Madrid which was hit hard by the blizzard ! The airport was closed to all flights,there was no public transport,lorries stranded on the motorways and villages in the province snowbound.  Even snow ploughs have not been able to reach some of those villages. At present Red Cross & Emergency services skiers are trying to reach those villages and hopefully helicopters will be able to get to them soon.  

As the delivery lorries have not been able to get into the Madrid there is shortage of fresh food in the supermarkets and of course shortage of toilet rolls.   What is it with this bulk buying of toilet rolls??   I don't understand it!

 
short clip to show you the situation in Madrid

I know some of you bloggers out there live in countries where snow and snowstorms are perfectly normal and it is part of your everyday in winter.   It isn't here, except in some of the  mountains like the Pyrenees and northern Spain. The people in Madrid are not used to snow at all!  It was quite unexpected and they were not prepared for it.

On a positive note schools are closed and the children are having a whale of a time ๐Ÿ˜€

 

☃☃☃☃☃☃☃☃☃☃ 

Crochet .....the ever growing baby blanket :

I am still on the same baby blanket and it is growing, in fact I shall be starting the border very soon but from the start I have found it a tad tiresome! This could be of course due to me swapping from one pattern to another about three times(hence a good deal of frogging). I just don't like too holey shawls or blankets for new born babies. Their little fingers get caught up in the holes!!  I think it looks nice but it is slow going!      Hey ho!!   I tell myself not much longer now and it will be completed and I can go on to something new ...small new!   I also hope no more new babies in the family for awhile please! 

Not very good photo!!


 

Alexa and doubts:

 

Sr P is not at all computer friendly or very tech savvy at all! He absolutely refuses to have and use a mobile phone!   However, I'd like to know who he has been talking to him lately! He only comes out the other day with he had heard about Alexa and he likes the idea of having one and being able to talk to her and ask for  the music he likes or the latest news and so on and how could we get her!  It did take a little while for me to explain to Sr P that Alexa is an it and not a her nor is it a gadget but an app which you connect up to via an Echo dot speaker connected to the internet or similar. Once that was understood I told Sr P I would be quite happy to have an Alexa in my home as well but I did have to check it out that I could connect it to my iphone or my iMac before purchasing the speaker from Amazon.   Whenever I need to buy a new appliance whether domestic or other I don't like being too hasty and always check out the pros and cons online before spending my money.  As I browsed here and there on the web I began to learn more about what Alexa can do and I began to like Alexa more and more ....but then I came across the following information online :

   Here’s a quick recap of the safety precautions to always keep in mind:

  • Turn off voice input. Use Alexa voice remote instead.
  • Use PIN protection or disable voice purchases.
  • Turn on your device’s sound notification.
  • Disable your smartphone’s address book sharing feature.
  • Keep your Echo away from windows and doors. Really?
  • Designate “Alexa-free” rooms.
  • Review and delete your interactions with Alexa.
  • Opt out of Alexa recordings.
  • Turn your Echo’s camera off.
  • Read third-party terms and conditions.

Your Amazon Echo is here to ease the day-to-day thousands of ways. However, you still need to put in a little effort to ensure you’re safe and your information is secure. Use the privacy and security tips outlined above to help your hardworking assistant keep your personal information safe.

 and ...it seems also I have to give access to my contacts to be able to set up the Alexa app...excuse me???   I can't say I like the sound of that.

I have found the above information rather off putting and I don't feel so keen about Alexa at present after reading all this. If any of you use Alexa I would welcome your advice and opinion please.

 


Keep well

 

Amanda :-)

 




Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Resolutions sound too demanding!

I don't really like making New Year resolutions!   They sound so very demanding ! I prefer a little bit of flexibility and a possible escape route so I can change my mind and I don't feel guilty about doing so ๐Ÿ˜€


I do know I definitely have to see to the following! 

As it is the start of a  New Year it is a good time to get on with it.


I really must organise the mass of Family History papers that I have got and those that I brought back with me from my Mother's house in 1998 when she passed away. That was 23 years ago and I still find it hard to look at her notes ,her diary and the F/T sheets she compiled. Mother started me on the Family History research as she had been researching her side of the family for quite sometime. We used to do it together.   

 

extract from my F/T research data base

Uploading all data to my F/T data base is an enormous task but I definitely have the time now.

 

My problem is I get easily distracted when I am doing it...so many queries arise,which makes it quite time consuming.!!  

Let me give you example:

 I found some information about one of my ancestors who, in the 18th century,was brought up to the local assizes for stealing bread. Instantly I got distracted as I started hunting through papers to see if there was a record or any evidence that she was found guilty and shipped off to Australia, as was the case for many people at that time. So fascinating......you can see my dilemma can't you? 

I do know I need to concentrate on all the data I have and upload it to the data base  and once I have the basic information for each person I can then start looking at interesting and possibly interlinking snippets of historical facts or events to research and add.  On reviewing what I have written here that sounds right and the way to do it...but I still get distracted.  Tch!!!


BOOKS

I read!    I always have a book on the go. I am mainly a sci-fi,magical fantasy,treasure finding adventure,historical,time travel fan although I will read anything if I find it intriguing.

Liz on her blog Shortbread and Ginger has recommended a series of books which I am tempted to purchase. She mentioned that the Shardlake Series -follows lawyer Matthew Shardlake as he investigates various crimes during the chaos which followed Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries.I feel like getting my teeth into an Historical novel for a change and if there is a bit of intrigue too well better still,so I am going to get the first one; 

Dissolution.


 

Wrapping presents:

 
Yes...again!!!    All for the Kings Night tonight. 

 

The three Kings arrived by sea last year. Spain.
 

 

We won't be celebrating it this evening as usual because of the new curfew and C19 restrictions here in the Valencian region. We will be going to my daughter's again for lunch tomorrow on the King's Day and also to hand over the presents. 

 

Blue skies can be deceiving!

I receive many comments about the beautiful sunny blue skies in the photos I often upload to my posts. I do get the impression sometimes that no one believes me when I say its cold or freezing cold here in Alicante. It is a haven for sure most of the year but there are a few weeks per year when it is cold and unpleasant!

I went with my daughter for a walk along the beach this morning and afterwards we had breakfast at our favourite cafe.Unfortunately she has inherited my thin blood and also feels the cold quite a lot!!  Perhaps this snapshot I was allowed to take of her at the cafe, where you can see she is fully equipped for the cold, will convince you that it does indeed get beyond chilly here in Alicante (note:woolly gloves on table)

This was at 10am approx this morning

 

No wind today but still icy cold

 

Another fiesta day to endure ๐Ÿ˜€

 

As they say here    "Feliz Reyes"...  Happy Kings Day....the last day of Christmas!


Stay safe and Take care


Amanda :-)



 

 

 

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Aftermath

 Aftermath is not quite the correct word to use as it means a situation after something ruinous has happened. 

I wouldn't say that Christmas Day was ruinous by far!!  Looking on the good side of things, as Christmas Eve and Day was a quiet affair this year there is not so much to clear up or to put back in place. 


 Father Christmas has been very observant this year as he was spot on with my Christmas present :

 



 

 I particularly requested a backpack bag especially for when I go walking so I can carry a snack with me or do some shopping on my way back home. It leaves my arms and hands free so I can get into marching mode. I also wanted it in RED ....brilliant red!!  

๐ŸŒŸ   Thank you Father Christmas ๐ŸŒŸ 



 

Lazy darning II

 

Another hole in Sr P's jeans.  He still hasn't noticed my first Lazy darn! Follow link to post about that here !    

Out comes the iron!!

I am not much good at drawing but I think this looks like a cat...doesn't it?๐Ÿ˜Š

 


 

Oldest park in Alicante

A new look-see and wander around the oldest park in Alicante which was looking particularly splendid on a mild sunny day during the Christmas holidays.

 When I was looking  at these gigantic trees in Canalejas park I remembered reading on  Poppy Patchwork's post My heaven  her love of trees so I thought I would add a few photos of these trees that this park is so famous for.   I believe they are Ficus trees and I have been told they are over 140 years old. 

If only trees could talk!! I would gladly listen ๐Ÿ˜ฎ.

 


 




This is one of the most popular parks in Alicante City. It is in the heart of Alicante and it is situated right by the port area and near to the Postiguet beach. A pleasant walk leading to the esplanade.

The Explanada de Espaรฑa is one of the most popular areas in the city and always busy.In normal times you would see small groups of people sitting or standing chatting away, playing dominos,cards,chess or parchis (Ludo). The Spanish are very fond of Ludo and it certainly isn't just a child's game for them. 

It is also  a good place to meet up with someone because everyone knows where this is.

๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒณ

 

 

Spiced Snow Cookies (Snรธkake)

They are gone!  

I would say they were a success!!๐Ÿ‘   

I usually make some cream cheese chocolate chip cookies,Jam tartlets and a Bakewell tart for Christmas goodies. I know this is practically sacrilege but we don't like mince pies or Christmas pudding or traditional Christmas cake. Actually that is not quite correct Sr P does like Christmas pud. My Mum always used to send him a mini one from the UK every Christmas.  Anyhow.. I wanted a change from the usual and something different.

Eclectic Home and Life has been posting several recipes of Scandinavian Christmas goodies on her blog recently and this one, Spiced Snow Cookies, seemed the easiest.  

I was a bit dubious about adding the spice because I have to be careful with spicy things in this family and also new cookies + spice could have meant a reluctance to try them. I therefore added the extra Cocoa powder (actually I used pure drinking chocolate powder instead of Cocoa. It is thicker. I always use it when a recipe indicates Cocoa as it produces a stronger chocolate taste. ) that is mentioned in the recipe if not using spice but I also added the cinnamon as well but not the other spices.  

Chocolate and Cinnamon do go together!


 

They were delicious and as I said at the start they have gone!  (except for a little stash in the freezer๐Ÿ˜„).

I would definitely make them again! Thanks for sharing Eclectic Home and Life  

  ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ

 

 

Welcome back to Jill at Emerald Cottage.  It so nice to see that some bloggers are returning to blog land.

 


Dear bloggers, I am preparing my mind to face lots of positivity and hopefully new thoughts and ideas will be incoming during...the fresh New 2021!!   

It is just around the corner!!

 

Enjoy Twixmas  


keep well


Amanda :-)

 


 

 




Wednesday, 23 December 2020

The spirit of Christmas

Lost but now it is found

 Big sigh of relief!!    I thought I had lost it!  

I was so happy to find Gracie's snowflake which I couldn't find last year when rapidly setting up my Christmas tree the day before Christmas Eve. This year as I have all the time in the world I was determined to find it.I searched high and low among the boxes and bags which I use for the Christmas decorations and finally I found it scrunched up in a corner of a box. I have washed it and blocked it and it looks as pretty as a picture. Gracie from One Saylor's Log sent this to me in the Snowflake swap we shared back in 2012.   

"I found it Gracie and as you can see from these photos taken today it is there on my tree once again ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿ˜"


Christmas with a few differences.

Understandably every country celebrates Christmas in their own way .In the case of Spain the religious influence is very evident throughout. Spain is traditionally a country of Nativity scenes more than Christmas trees. 

 

The Nativity Scene set up in the town of Villena, Alicante province.

 I have in the past posted about the different customs here but there are a few other customs the Spanish enjoy over Christmas and are very much a part of their culture too.

 

 

 The National Christmas Lottery 



Millions of Spaniards buy a lottery ticket or two,  all eager to try their luck to win the big jackpot, known as El Gordo (which literally means “the fat one”).  If you’re thinking that the Spanish Christmas lottery seems to be a much bigger deal than most other lotteries you’re familiar with, you’re not wrong.One important thing about this lottery and the reason why it is so popular is that it is shared. It becomes very much a family affair, one coupon can be bought per family and each member of the family pays their part of the coupon. Businesses or groups of friends also do the same they buy a cupon which is divided out between all, again each person paying their share. Everyone is glued to the TV on 22nd December to hear who has won the first prize which is "The Fat One"   

 I have just checked my two lottery coupons and we weren't lucky this year but that is the way it goes. Next year we will try our luck again!๐Ÿ˜

 

The sweet stuff 

 

Pastelitos de Gloria   

Delicious Gloria cakes,full of marzipan.

 

Roscon de Reyes

The traditional sweet roll with little gifts inside eaten on the Night of the three Kings...Twelfth Night.

and

Turron (nougat) famous the world over. I even saw it for sale in Brisbane when I was visiting my sister in Australia.

 

Sr P absolutely loves it and always buys for Christmas.

 

Main dish

It  has to be of course the traditional "Cocido" main meal chicken soup which is served on Christmas Day.   I posted about this dish way back in 2014. You can see the recipe for it here.  


 

 

 Ms Christmas Angel:

 She continues to be with us. She was sent to me by a friend in the UK about 10 years ago. You can read more about her here in this post I wrote in 2015. She does look a little worn after all this time so I have cleaned her up cut off some of the straggles and added a new sparkling halo (I cut if off an old Christmas card ages ago and kept it thinking it would come in use ...and it has!

 


The Christmas spirit 

 

                 Merry Christmas                

wishing you all peace,health and happiness.

 

 

and at the same time I am posting this very christmassy photograph of Minehead, my home town in England. 


Church steps up to St.Michael's Church,Minehead,Somerset,England




FABULOUS VOICES!!





 

            Amanda :-)